Educator Spotlight
Clare Grizzard
Roland Park Elementary/Middle School, Baltimore

Grizzard has been an arts integration specialist at Roland Park Elementary since 2005, working to integrate arts into all aspects of the curriculum. Previously, she worked as an art teacher at the school from 1998 to 2005. She is one of 23 educators in the nation who were recently named MetLife Foundation Ambassadors in Education for their efforts to bridge gaps between schools and the parents, businesses and organizations that make up the surrounding community. Grizzard lives in Baltimore County with her husband, Thom, a writer. She has four children, all of them artists. On the side, she works as a consultant and teacher for the National Gallery of Art. In 2005, she was named Maryland State Elementary Art Educator of the Year.
Below are excerpts from her award nomination letters.

From Joan Weber, executive director, Baltimore Partners for Enhanced Learning: "I have watched as Clare has worked tirelessly for Roland Park Elementary/Middle School to bring arts and cultural programs into the school from organizations in Baltimore City. As an artist, teacher and arts integration specialist, she understands deeply the value of incorporating the arts into the daily learning environment of students. As important, she understands the value of bringing art and cultural programming in from the Baltimore vibrant arts and culture community. She has forged partnerships with groups as varied as the Maryland Institute College of Art, the Peabody Institute of Music and Baltimore Shakespeare Festival, each contributing to the strong academic standards of this Blue Ribbon school.... You merely have to walk the halls of the building to understand what she means. Every single hallway is filled with works of arts; students proudly display their work at all levels of their process. There are murals on the walls that have been created through the efforts of community artists, parents and joint projects with students. The building invites you in to witness an environment that allows students to explore and create. Visitors know that the students' work is valued or it wouldn't be displayed so prominently. It gives the students a sense of importance."
From Mariale Hardiman, assistant dean of urban school partnerships at the Johns Hopkins University School of Education, former Roland Park principal: "With many schools across the nation narrowing the curriculum to focus on meeting high-stakes accountability standards, the work of Ms. Grizzard provides a viable example of merging high academic outcomes with the enrichment that comes from support from the arts and cultural community."
From Roland Park's current principal, Carolyn Cole: "Our school is firmly committed to integrating the arts. Clare's work represents that: we are the first school in the city to have a faculty position dedicated solely to this mission. Ms. Grizzard has made the arts and community involvement part of who we are and what we do. She has built a Study Center that includes a reference library, teaching materials, and resources for using the arts across the curriculum.... As a direct result of Clare's work, Roland Park is a beautiful place in which to learn. Our halls communicate a sense of celebration, presenting finished student work, works in progress, murals, and themed work from
many disciplines. This clear display of pride is why we are often asked to host visitors from around the country and the world, including Fulbright scholars, government representatives, research institutions and the media."
-- Sara Neufeld